Mr PM! Your brother-in-law’s plot is still not in his possession

ISLAMABAD: A residential plot belonging to the prime minister’s brother-in-law was recently in the news and was cited as the main reason for the appointment of the Lahore CCPO.

It was said that he had gotten the plot freed from the clutches of the ‘qabza mafia’ (land-grabbers). However, what Prime Minister Imran Khan did not know then is that his brother-in-law’s plot in Lahore is still out of the latter’s reach — thanks to yet another court stay order.

In a recent television interview, Imran Khan had said that despite his best efforts as the Prime Minister of Pakistan he could not get his brother-in-law’s plot vacated from the clutches of what he termed the ‘qabza mafia,’ which became the reason for the appointment of the incumbent CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh. The prime minister said he had been pursuing the Punjab government for more than two years but had failed to get the illegal possession of the plot vacated. However, the newly appointed CCPO, he said, had managed to come down hard against the mafia.

However, the prime minister’s brother-in-law Abdul Ahad Khan maintains that the plot is still not in his possession thanks to a fresh stay order issued by a local court.

Talking to The News, Ahad Khan said that his father had bought the plot in PIA Society back in 1984 but after his death in 2008 he found that the plot was in the possession of the ‘qabza mafia’ that had managed to get stay orders issued by different courts in its favour.

Ahad Khan said that after years of litigation, he finally got the stay order vacated early this year. Following that, with the help of the police, the housing society management and the LDA, he got possession of the plot but after just two days, he received another stay order issued in favour of the land-grabbers from another court.

He alleged that the housing society and the qabza group are hand in glove in such illegal activities while the revenue department is also corrupt to the core. The police too were reluctant to help, but because of the prime minister’s intervention and after the vacation of the previous court stay order, he said, the police became involved in Feb 2020.

Ahad Khan said that after gaining possession of the plot, he immediately got a boundary wall constructed. But two days later, he found that a civil court has issued a new stay order in favour of the qabza mafia.

Referring to the corruption of the revenue department, he said that the ‘inteqal’ (mutation) of the land was in the name of the society as well as of the land-grabbers. He added that the mutation of the land was cancelled from the illegal occupier’s name in August this year, following which the owner of the plot adjoining his plot was shot dead, allegedly by the mafia.

When the prime minister was informed about this murder and the fact that the police– despite the aggrieved parties’ complaints of receiving threats from the mafia– was not providing any help, Imran Khan decided to bring in the incumbent CCPO Lahore, who arrested the murderers.

Ahad lamented that despite winning all the cases and getting the stay orders vacated, he is still not authorized to use or sell his plot.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s brother-in-law is facing a dilemma faced by tens of thousands of Pakistanis who are deprived of their lands and properties because of court stay orders and the corruption of the revenue department and police.

According to a senior government servant, who has served for a long period in revenue-related jobs, instead of pressing the police to get his brother-in-law’s genuine grievance addressed, the prime minister should fix the root cause of this malaise that has affected hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis, including those living overseas.

The qabza mafia is strengthened and emboldened because of two main reasons: the rampant corruption in the revenue department and the penchant of the courts to issue stay orders. For an ordinary citizen, even getting something as simple as the demarcation of land from the revenue department is impossible.

These stay orders, it is said, are in force for years and when vacated new stay orders are obtained. “If the government fixes these problems, it will be a relief for millions of Pakistanis,” the official source said.

This article originally appeared on The News International